To be spiritually alive is to operate in life from your spirit, and to be spiritually dead is to operate by your senses or flesh. The reason why sin is damning to man is because every sinful act satisfies the desires of the flesh. You will notice, that in the Old Testament, when God was giving the laws, He made a way for one who kills another accidentally to go free; the cities of refuge. But there was no pardon for pre-meditated murder. The reason is because one was done to satisfy the flesh, but the other was not. Sin is deadly to man because it feeds the flesh, and whatever you feed, grows. As the scripture puts it, “…each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:14, 15 ESV).
Death means lifelessness, it is a metaphor for whatever does not have God in it, whatever does not have the nature of God, which is love. Now, let’s pay very careful attention to what I’m about to say. The scripture says this, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16 ESV). Yesterday we had a conversation about being converted to become as a little child. Now, the scripture above literally means that, ‘life’ comes when one who believes the truth, replaces what they have learnt from the natural senses with what the truth teaches. For example, when somebody wrongs you, the senses has taught us over the years to pay the person back or revenge, but truth says forgive, that is the way of love, and if we believe that truth, and replace revenge with forgiveness, life is what happens. Righteousness is not necessarily the act, it is the decision to do the act, which is based on the truth. The act itself is life.
In the same way, the sinful acts people do, is not what scripture calls sin, it is the decision they make in their heart to perform the act, based on what their senses tell them, that is what scripture calls sin,”…desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:14, 15 ESV). The act itself is death. This is why Jesus came telling us that a person who lusts after a woman in their heart, has already sinned. This does not mean that the temptation, which is the desire to sin, is sin in itself, it is the decision to satisfy that desire that is sin.
(YOU ARE AS CHRIST IS. Ephesians 2:13-16, Galatians 2:18-20)
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